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Derogatory mark on credit report from utility company

New Visitor

Derogatory mark on credit report from utility company



I'm fairly new to credit management so I apologize if this is an elementary question or in the wrong place.


-I moved homes about a year ago and in doing so, had to switch utility companies (electric, gas, etc.). When I originally called my old electric company to turn off my service, I was told that the new rental tenants would have to switch the account information over once they move in (the day after I moved out).. okay fair enough.


-Fast forward six months after I have moved into my new apartment. I get a letter from a collections agency for the past few months of my electric bill that were not paid at my old address (which should have been billed to the new tenants months before). I naturally called the electric company and explained the situation. I was told that I am on the hook for the entirty of the bill up to date, as the new tenants did not call to set up an account. I find this ridiculous and refused to pay unless they prorate the bill to the day that I had moved out.


-Fast forward to today, there is now a 'derogtatory mark for public record / utility' on my credit report which is drastically affecting my score. 


My question - what can I do to take care of this situation? The last thing I want to do is pay several hundred dollars of somebody elses electric bill and then have the negative mark still on my report.


-Any proactive suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I just want to get this taken care of and move past it.


Thank you

Message 1 of 4
Community Leader
Senior Contributor

Re: Derogatory mark on credit report from utility company

I would ask for supervisor for one last try. If that doesn't work, I'd file complaints with CFPB and local PUC, or Public Utilities Commission. You're only responsible until cutoff date. For future, always notate call, dated, and names with utilities/phone/cable. They never keep their stories straight. Good luck!

Message 2 of 4
New Visitor

Re: Derogatory mark on credit report from utility company

Thanks so much! I'll give it another try.

Message 3 of 4
Regular Contributor

Re: Derogatory mark on credit report from utility company

I'd definitely be raising hell with your utility provider. If you said stop service in my name on a certain date, what happens after that is not your responsibility. Either another tenant puts it in their name, the landlord puts it in their name until they find a new tenant, or the service gets shut off. They can't just keep billing you because no one else took over service.


I can go online and do a start/stop/transfer service with both my electric and natural gas providers. When I do so I get an email with confirmation number and the details of the service change. I would expect most utility providers are like this. I'd go this route in the future if you can. Otherwise all you have is "he said, she said" and that will rarely work out in your favor.

Message 4 of 4
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